Here are 7 tips to email pitch to brands so you can have #sponsored content

So you’re ready to work with brands and create sponsored content?! *Gives you a high-five*

…BUT Before you send out a mass email to every brand, and they momma’ that you want to work with, there are a few things you should include when you’re trying to pitch to brands. I’m sharing six must-haves.

 

1. Provide Your Name

Starting off your email with “To whom it may concern” will generally land your email in the trash bin. Address the person by name who you’re writing to.

You can usually find out who to address your email to by doing a quick LinkedIn search. I like to look up the brand + influencer marketing and see who works within that field. It’s a great place to start off when trying to find contacts within a brand to pitch to.

 

2. Introduce yourself

Who are you? Seriously?!
Introduce who are you and what you do briefly.

ie: I’m Breonna, a Tampa-based lifestyle blogger.

ie: I’m Breonna, a beauty YouTuber.

3. Link to ALL profiles where you have an audience

So you have 8,000 followers on Instagram? Awesome! Where’s the link?

Don’t make people chase after you and hunt down your social media accounts. Be sure to link ALL of your social media accounts in your email.

4. Provide Your collab idea

You love ELF’s new aqua lipstick? Coo, coo. Who doesn’t?
Give the brand a brief idea on how you’re going to use it

ie: I am creating a beach-friendly makeup tutorial on my YouTube channel and would love to feature your new Aqua lipstick in the video!

5. Add your  stats

Brands actually do care about your stats and if you have a larger audience than you def want to include them.

ie: My YouTube audience of over 45,000 loves content focused around simple beauty and everyday looks.

6. Provide a short and sweet paragraph of why you’re interested in the company

Don’t overdo it with this one, girl.

Tell why you want to work with the brand. Butter them up a little and make it personalized.

ie: I love the ELF mineral black eyeliner and use it often in my makeup tutorials. The quality is amazing which is why I’m super excited about the launch of the new ELF aqua lipstick!

Want to know the exact scripts I use to pitch to brands and land 4 figure sponsorships? Get that plus a ton more inside my Influencer starter bundle.

 

Do’s & Don’ts

Do…

  • Address the person by name in the email to make it personal
  • Have a catchy subject line
  • Follow-up if you don’t have a response for the first time. Brands get busy too!

Don’t…

  • Send out the same email to everyone with a generic email. Personalize it!
  • Have grammatical errors. yOu aRE a pRofESSinaw.
  • Be rude
  • Commit to things you know you can’t deliver 
     

In my next blog post, I’m sharing 5 awesome websites to find brands to work

 

How much do I spend on my blog, youtube channel & business?

Being a content creator can be lucrative and compared to other businesses such as ones that require a brick and mortar, you can have massive profit margins.

However, being a content creator (blogger, youtuber, and/or influencer) does require some cost and I believe that as your elevate your brand so will the amount you spend. One of my goals this year is to post consistently on my blog, YouTube channel and social medias.

I’m leveling up my content, investing in a team, elevating my brand and putting some respeck’ on my name as a digital creator… and guess what? Most of those things cost.

So how much do I exactly spend as a content creator?

I’ve broken up my expenses into categories. Some of these I pay monthly and some I pay yearly. This doesn’t include things like office supplies or conferences. These are strictly expenses I can expect to pay each month and/or year. Obviously, you don’t have to use any of these things but I wanted to share exactly what I use and pay for to keep BreonnaQueen.com going….

Organization & planning:

1. Google Drive: $20/yr
I use Google Drive to house most of my documents and photos. I love Google drive because no matter where I’m at or the device I’m on, I have access to all of my things. I
=$20

Social Media Assistance:

1. Tailwind: $105/yr – I use tailwind to help me with Pinterest. I don’t have the time to pin 3-4 times day each day. With Tailwind, I take a few hours out of the month and schedule all of my pins! I’ve been using Tailwind for a little over a month now and my Pinterest monthly views have DOUBLED! Click here to signup for Tailwind and you get $15 off!
2. Planoly: $7/month – I use planoly to not only schedule out my instagram post but also my stories! I like planoly because they get you the best times to post, extended analytics and you can automatically post your hashtags as a comment for your new post!
3. Tubebuddy-: $16/month
Tubebuddy is a free web browser extension that integrates directly with YouTube’s site and helps you to optimize your channel better. I pay for the extended version so I can really look into keywords and SEO for my YouTube channel. I highly recommend TubeBuddy and I use it a few times out of the week!
4. MailerLite: $84/year –
I’ve used a few email providers and I always go back to Mailerlite because it’s easy and simple. Your first 1,000 subscribers is free and you get access to everything! You only pay once your grow past that 1000, which is why I pay. Click here to get a $20 credit when you sign-up for mailerlite!

Analytics:

1. Google Analytics: free
This what I use to look at my blog analytics such as page views, average time on site, unique visitors and monthly visitors
5. YouTube Analytics: free
This what I use to look at my YouTube analytics

Graphics & video:

1. Lightroom & Photoshop: $100/yr
I use adobe lightroom to help edit my photos. Photoshop was also included in the bundle.
2. Canva: free
I use canva to create my YouTube thumbnails, Pinterest pins and other graphics
3. Final cut pro: $300/ one time free
I use final cut pro to edit all of my YouTube videos. I use to use imovie which was free on my Mac and eventually upgraded to Filmora Wondershare which I highly recommend for beginners who want cute videos that are easy to create!

Money & Budgeting:

1. Quickbooks: $12/month
I use Quickbooks to help me manage my money, expenses and taxes.
I use to use wave apps which is similar and free. However, I prefer Quickbooks because it gives me expected taxes to pay quarterly, syncs with Turbotax and a few other programs I use.

Education:

I believe you should never stop learning! While I invest events, conferences and seminars, I have not included those things because the events I attend truly depend on my needs and what’s being held. I do not have a set amount for events I attend

1. LinkedIn Learning: free
LinkedIn Learning is $29.99 a month. However, I get it for free since I have a library card! I enjoy watching different courses on different things such as how to use Final cut pro better!
2. Skillshare: $100/yr
Skillshare is similiar to LinkedIn Learning as you have access to an abundance of coures.
Click here for 2 free months of skillshare!
3. Kindle Unlimited: $9.99/month
Yall, I LOVE Kindle unlimited lol. I’ve had it since 2016 and use it often for downloading cookbooks and quick reads.
Click here for your first month of Kindle Unlimited for FREE.
4. Scribed

Hosting & Domain Name:

1. Siteground: $6/month
Prior to siteground, I had all the website hosting including godaddy, hostgator, fatcow and bluehost. They all were just okay.

… then I got siteground and the game changed. With siteground, my website is faster, it backs up everyday, customer service is better, I have unlimited emails and can add unlimited websites to my hosting. I highly recommend siteground.

Services:

1. Photographer : $900/yr
I have a package with my photographer where I take photos ever quarter. I do plan to increase my sessions to every 6 weeks but right now, I just do every quarter and in-between I use my own camera!

So in total, how much should I expect to spend each year?
About $2,221.00/year not including things like conferences, office supplies, photoshoot props, running ads, traveling or meals.

This may seem like a lot to some but compared to other traditional businesses, this is relatively low! You don’t have to use all of the things or any of things I use and often times, most of the above software offers trials and free plans!

I choose to invest in my business because I know it’s worth it and I’ve made a return on my investment every year.


 

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7 ways to make money as a blogger

There are so many ways I’ve made money leveraging my influence and even months when I had no sponsorships and fell completely off the social map, I’ve still been able to earn $1000 in passive income for the month.

So today, I’m sharing my top seven ways you can earn money as a blogger using your influence.

 

7 ways to become a paid content creator

1. Affiliate programs

Affiliate marketing is basically when you earn a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s product. When I was creating beauty tutorials, I obviously used a lot of beauty products. I leveraged that by adding affiliate links to my tutorials. A viewer watching my tutorial may love the lipstick I’m wearing and when they click the link and purchase the lipstick, I earned a small commission.

The great thing about affiliate programs is that you don’t need a large following to start. My top 4 favorite affiliate programs for bloggers: Amazon associates, Magiclinks, Reward Style, and Shareasale,

The majority of affiliate programs are free to join and if you already love the product and rave about it, why not earn a commission from it?

Affiliate income is one of the easiest ways to become a paid blogger because anyone can add affiliate links to their blog regardless if they’re new to blogging or been at it for a while.

2. Digital Products

In 2015, I wrote my first book… then I wrote another book…. then I wrote another book.
Five years later and I STILL earn revenue from book sales. Here’s the thing, if you have a skill then you have a way to make money because there’s always someone who is looking to learn that skill. For example, if you’re good at hair then there’s always someone who will want to learn how to become better at doing hair. If you’re great at pivot tables in excel, there’s always someone looking to become better at pivot tables in excel. You can leverage this by creating digital products such as books, courses, templates, and guides sharing your knowledge and expertise!

Some examples include:

  • Creating a course on beginning cooking basics.
  • Writing a book on how to flirt
  • Creating a template for those who want to be better at pivot tables in excel.
  • Creating a cheat sheet guide for photographers who want to learn different camera settings.

    Turn your skill into a digital product.

Digital products are one of the best ways to become a paid influencer because you can control how you make money.

With digital products, you simply create them one time and then continue to promote them each month. Once you have an established audience who sees you as the expert, I definitely recommend creating a digital product to help your audience even more.

I’ve been a digital marketer for over a decade now. I know video creation inside and out so it made sense to create a product to help new YouTubers become better on video.

Additionally, I’ve pitched and worked with huge (and small brands). I know a lot about being an influencer so creating a product that shares my exact methods of obtaining paid sponsorships was a no-brainer when it came to creating digital products.

Share what you know and create digital products centered around HOW to do.

Websites you can use to leverage your digital product
Where to publish your book: Simply write your book in word and submit on KDP for publishing your book on amazon
Where to publish your course: Teachable
Where to create your digital product: Canva and/or Adobe Spark
Where to sell your digital downloads: Etsy

The great thing about the recommendations above is none of these even require a website domain! *woot* *woot*

Click here for 4 types of digital products you can create in a single weekend!

3. Ad Revenue

I make money every single month on YouTube and my blog… even on the months, I don’t publish. I have enough evergreen content that I get still views on old videos and old blog posts.

On my beauty blog, you’ll notice I have ads. These ads also earn me money. I was approved for an ad network that pays better than Google Adsense and allows me to make money from display ads.

If you’re a brand new blogger, I recommend looking into Google Adsense to place ads on your site. Once you hit 10,000 page views, I recommend Ezoic since it will have a higher payment. Once you hit 20,000 pageviews, I recommend SheMedia (which is what I currently use) for even higher payouts.

 

4. Events

Last year I hosted my very first event in the area. It was a lot of work but I made a nice chunk of change and I got to connect with other women in the area! If you’re a local influencer, you may be able to leverage your connections to host a practically free event. You can collaborate with a venue, get food, and goodie bag sponsorships from local businesses and you can market on your platform to your audience!

Here are a few events you can throw:
– Vision board party
– Networking event
– Paint party
– Fitness event (ie: Yoga in the park)
– Educational class (such as a beauty event where you show attendees how to do their makeup or a photography class where you show attendees how to take better photos!)

If most of your audience is local, I think hosting or being a part of events is one of the best non-conventional ways to become a paid influencer.

Also, don’t sleep on virtual events! You can charge for virtual fitness events, paint parties, and makeup classes!

 

5. Physical products

In 2015, I launched my own cosmetics line called Queenie Chic. It did really well and the profit from my lipstick line really helped when it was time for me to purchase a home.

I closed down my beauty line in 2019 (I wanted to focus on other things) but I’m not going to lie… I miss it!! I do plan to launch a different product line in the future because products are such a great way to earn money!

The easiest products you can sell in my personal opinion is private labeling, dropshipping and print on demand.

I recommend the product you sell being within or similar to your niche. For example, I had a lipstick line because I was a beauty influencer. It was easy to create a beauty look and finish off with my lipstick. It made marketing easy.
How difficult would it be to sell lipsticks to my audience if I was a gaming influencer?

6. Sponsorships

I feel like this one is pretty obvious but it’s also pretty substantial. You can get paid to promote products and services through brand deals.

Use influencer marketing platforms and don’t be afraid to pitch to companies. If you’re a new influencer then I recommend starting off local. Reach out to local businesses and restaurants for brand deals. Don’t be afraid to accept free. Free can lead to paid.

Once your audience hits 1000, I absolutely think you can get paid sponsorships. I also think its a good time to start pitching to brands via email.

You can work with brands and get paid to post. If you’re new, you may have to take some free sponsorships but you can also find ways to get paid from free sponsorships as well. I share more on that in this blog post.

If you’re interested in working with brands and getting paid, I have a toolkit that includes plug and play templates you can use to pitch to brands, a media kit that’s fully customizable in Canva, videos to help you determine your rate PLUS more! You can learn all about this exclusive bundle here.

In my opinion, sponsorships are one of the best ways to become a paid blogger because you can secure 4 and 5 figure deals!

 

7. Services

The whole reason I fell into being a content creator is because I was a marketing consultant and had a client who wanted to get into YouTube! Today, I still sell my services (although I’m moving away from being a service provider as my brand grows).

If you’re a business blogger, offer business coaching! If you’re a fitness blogger, offer online personal coaching. Selling services does not require a large audience and you can make a lot of money depending on your pricing.

You can even do group coaching where a group of people pays you each month to be apart of a community! I’ve joined group coaching programs to become a better content creator, to advertise better, and to even sell better!

Providing a service is one of the most profitable ways to become a paid blogger especially if you’re a small blogger because you don’t need a large audience. For example, if you’re a wellness coach who charges $3,500 for your coaching package, you only need 3 people to join your program to hit $10,000 month!

 

Here are seven ways I made money as a blogger! It doesn’t matter if you have a small audience or a large audience, you CAN monetize your blog!

In my next post, I’m sharing ways to work with brands and make money.

Tax tips and deductibles for Bloggers & Youtubers

I’m going to talk about something that rarely gets talked about when you’re a YouTuber, blogger and/or influencer… and that’s taxes!

What can you claim as a deductible? What can you not claim? What tips do I have to stay organized during tax season so I don’t get a huge tax bill (and an audit!)?

First thing first, social media influencers do have to pay taxes and if you’re serious about it, I highly recommend you treat it like a business.

If you’re earning money or receiving free gifts, yes, you do have to file it!

DISCLAIMER Before I continue, I need to disclose that I am not a licensed CPA. This post was written from my own personal experience with filing my taxes as a digital influencer, not from a professional perspective. If you need legal advice regarding your taxes, please consult with a licensed CPA or trusted tax preparer. I can only speak from my own experience. Also, please note that my advice and experience come from my residency, so income and taxes may vary depending on the country or state you reside.

Things you can deduct (typical tax deductions)

1. Software

Such as apps used for photo editing (ie Lightroom)⁣ and video editing (final cut pro)

2. Technology

Anything technical I use for my business (ie: camera, SD cards, charger, computer)⁣

3. Props for shoots & videos

For example, if I have to use flowers for a photoshoot, that’s tax-deductible

4. Wi-Fi

Percentage of my Wi-Fi I use at home

5. Percentage of my office space

I have a dedicated office that is specifically for working)

6. Office supplies

This also includes office snackies! Anything an employer would find in an office fridge, such as yogurt, bottled water, candy…. you can write off snacks for your office. I recommend ringing up separately)

7. Traveling for my business

Such as traveling to workshops, speaking engagements & photoshoots)⁣

8. Education

This includes workshops, courses & even subscriptions such as Kindle unlimited, LinkedIn learning & Skillshare

9. Percentage of my cell phone

Since it’s used for my business

10. Services used

Such as photography shoots & graphic design services

11. Website upkeep

This includes web hosting, domain renewal & WordPress theme)

12. Giveaways

If I’m doing giveaways… I can add expenses related to hosting that giveaway)

Things you cannot deduct

Clothing

As much as I would LOVEEEE to be able to claim clothes I wear for videos and shoots, Uncle Sam says no. A U.S. Tax Court ruling in 2011 reaffirmed this tax law when a judge rejected a TV anchorwoman’s efforts to deduct tens of thousands of dollars in clothes she bought to wear on air. If you plan to wear the clothes outside of work… you can’t deduct

 

Beauty Products

Unfortunately, the money you use to look like a snack is not a valid business expense. You can write off makeup used for stage or photo shoots, but not if you wear the same makeup outside of work.

 

Hair Products

If you plan to wear your hair the same way outside of work (ie: wigs and extensions) then you cannot deduct

 

I learned that if it’s suitable for everyday use, it’s not a deductible!

Blogging as a business tips

Here are a few tips I recommend when it comes to your influencer business

Set yourself up as a business

Breonna Queen is a LLC. I pay quarterly taxes, have a business checking/saving account, business cards and I’m currently trying to build my business credit (yes, issa’ thing!). Treat your blog and influence as a business, not a hobby!

Save Money During Your Tax Filing By Staying Organized

Use apps like Wave Apps or Quickbooks to stay organized. Both apps have a receipt app so you can literally take photos of every business receipt and stay organized. Both apps also allow you to link your accounts and sync your transactions so you know your expenses and income.

Put away 20% for taxes

A good guesstimate for taxes you’ll be paying for the year is around 20% of your income so when tax season rolls around, you won’t be scrambling for the money when it’s time to pay the IRS. You may or may not end up paying the entire 20% depending on your business expenses, but it’s good to be prepared.

In my next post, I’m sharing how much I spend as a YouTuber and blogger
I hope you enjoyed these tax tips as an influencer! Questions about navigating the business world as a content creator? Let me know below in the comments!